When little girls imagined a fairytale wedding – and she’d been no different as a child – Maya was pretty sure they envisioned the kind of staging that surrounded her first walk down the aisle with Stuart Evans. Maybe they believed as she had that such a spectacle meant permanence, or in her case that it might cement the whole tenuous venture into something she could rely on, because look at all the people come to bear witness, and listen to all those legacy pronouncements. Those ten thousand professional photos weren’t going anywhere, either.
In retrospect, Maya knew she’d been bullied into the occasion by her in-laws, but she’d gone along with it all because she really couldn’t think of an alternative. And who knew? Maybe that legion of little girls would be right and the grand gestures of one particular afternoon would carry her relationship into the future. Maybe she’d wake up in twenty or thirty years to find her marriage in a state of placid maturity because of all they’d done and said on their wedding day.
As she contemplated her second stint as a bride, this time at the palace on Shaddox, Maya concluded none of them on the mainland had possessed big enough imaginations. Perhaps their definition of couple-hood had been too small for themselves, and hence all the effort to make her union with Stu seem bigger. Whatever the premise, the performance looked lamentably quaint in hindsight, especially considering the current extravaganza the sirens had laid out on her and Aiden’s behalf. The prospect of walking into it made her dizzy.
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